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Red Nectar - Humboldt Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Red NectarRed Nectar

Educational use only; do not reuse.

257 Reviews
no score

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Reviews: 257
Hads: 561
Avg: 3.66
pDev: 19.67%
Wants: 11
Gots: 35 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Humboldt Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Ale |  5.40% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-25-2001

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (6) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 257 | Hads: 561
Photo of Sammy
3.92/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from Half Time. An amber tinge colour, lots of creamy head. Hop aromas. C-hopped, good malt backing, tasty stuff. Drying aftertaste. Carbonation right there. Very good for the style. Average mouthfeel. Good drinkability. Two-for-two with this brewery.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.62/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 5/21/12.

Pours a clear dark amber with a 1 inch foamy khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small patches of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of toasted malt, caramel, and some herbal hop aromas. Taste is of toasted malt, burnt caramel, and herbal hop flavors on the finish. There is a mild hop bitterness on the palate after each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is pretty tasty and drinkable but not something I would likely go after again.

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Photo of kylehay2004
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Single finger head on a clear amber body. Earthy and subtle citrus hops with toasted and caramel malts as the aroma. Flavor follows aroma with additional metallic hops otherwise very similar. This is like a sweet pale ale as far as hoppiness degree. Good hop degree but too much metallic flavor. Medium body and moderate carbonation. Very drinkable, good flavor. Better than I was expecting.

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Photo of metter98
3.67/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is relatively clear reddish amber in color and has a light amount of carbonation along with some fine particulates visible floating in suspension. It poured with a finger high beige colored head that died down, leaving a thick collar around the edge and lacing on the surface and down the sides of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of caramel and toasted malts are present in the nose along with hints of floral hops.
T: The taste mostly follows the smell and has a light to moderate amount of bitterness along with additional notes of spicy hops.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The taste of this beer has a very nice balance between the malts and hops.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.97/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

killer amber. pours dark dark red, almost burned in color, with a smal tan head. smells a bit dry like an irish red, but has some noticable hops in the nose. tastes deep and rich and ancient. not sweet at all, although the malts leave some residual sugars, its all pretty tame. like a conversation with an old man who has seen it all, this beer is experienced and well refined. very very sessionable and good with grilled sausage. nice spin on a red ale, hard to describe, just try it

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.97/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Pizzeria Paradiso - Alexandria.

Pours a reddish amber color with a nice white head that quickly recedes without too much lacing. Nose brings some citrus and pine notes with a bit of a floral character. Taste is mostly hops as well with some lightly-toasted malt coming through in the background. Good bitter feel with nice carbonation and a bit of toasted malt. Drinks well and is quite sessionable.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.38/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This poured out with a nice red color, a light tan colored head. The lacing was pretty good along the glass. The smell of the beer was a little on the sweet side but has some hop aromas too. The taste of the beer seemed a lot like an IPA. The other flavors are sweet like caramel. The mouthfeel was well balanced and pleasing. Overall I found the beer to be enjoyable.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.78/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

In true Californian style, the brewers behind the Nectar Ales brands aren't content on allowing the common acceptance of what amber ale are prescribed to be; no longer the sweeter brethren of American pale ale, but a drier, crisper and toastier session that lets the hops shine on!

Red Nectar's aesthetics are nearly rusty rudish-brown with that classic dry-hopped haze. Its creamy froth unleashes an array of earthen bouquet. Toasty, nutty and kettle caramelized malt links up with herbal fresh-hung tobacco and a dried apricot ester character. Its taste mimics that of the nose, but much less sweet than anticipated.

Over the middle, the caramelized malts continue to trail as the hops pull forth. Its shadow of roasted peanuts, medium toast and crusted bread carries the slimmest balance of beautifully burnt sugar. So much as to promote an undertow of blackberry jam with those esters dancing about the periphery of taste.

Its finish comes quick as its medium-dry and creamy body turns absolute dry with urgency. The acrid nature of toast amplifies its dryness and props up those sharp, grapefruity hop bitternesses that extend in aftertaste.

Its easy to see why this American amber ale has garnered accolades in recent Great American Beer Festival competitions.

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Photo of largadeer
2.17/5  rDev -40.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

"Bottled on" date reads 8/27/08.

Appearance: Perfectly clear amber with two fingers of off-white foam. Nice and frothy with good retention and stickage.

Smell: Soap. That's pretty much it. What the hell? This is one of the least aromatic beers I've ever smelled.

Taste & mouthfeel: Biscuit-like malts, minerals, husky grain, a bit estery in the background. Slight astringency from the malt. Mild floral hop flavor with a dry bitterness in the finish. Light bodied, fairly crisp on the palate but not especially clean. Not the worst beer around, but not exactly good either. Meh.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer is a beautiful shade of redorangeamber, bright and clear, and sports a generous, pastel orange-tinted cap of foam has all of the attributes that I look for... persistance, frothy firmness, stickiness and laceability. Red Nectar looks wonderful in the glass, especially with the setting sun behind it.

Hoptastic nose, more so than most red ales, even west coast ones. Orange, lemon and peach are at least as strong as grapefruit. There's more malt on the palate than there is in the nose. Even though the sweet, caramel flavor is right up front, hoppiness carries the day. Just what I like, a red ale that isn't afraid to forego balance and make a committment--even a modest one--in one direction.

Again, the flavor profile consists of lightly caramelized cane sugar syrup flecked with the zest of oranges, lemons and grapefruits. The medium body feels a tad more full than it actually is due to the sweet, slightly syrupy mouthfeel. Drying it out a little would enhance sessionability, but I'd keep it just the way it is.

I don't see, smell, or taste a lot to criticize. Red Nectar isn't in St. Rogue Red's league, but then what is? This is just damn tasty beer, it's as simple as that.

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Photo of zeff80
3.88/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, bubbly, reddish orange color with a two-finger, tan head of bubbly, long-lasting head. It left sticky rings of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled floral with a nice piney aroma. Some citrus and caramel, too.

T - Nice bitter piney hop bite up front with sweet caramel and a touch of chocolate.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied amber ale with a dry finish.

O - This is a very tasty red ale. Not surprised that Nectar Ales did another good ale.

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Photo of oberon
3.77/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a lighter amber color with a medium slightly sticky head,the aroma is nicely balanced od sweet malt and zesty hop.The taste starts out grassy and zesty with a nice malty finish,a little fruity complexity makes this beer pretty darn good.Mabey would have liked a little toastiness to it but all in all a good beer.

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Photo of nickfl
3.64/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - Pours with one finger of off white foam on top of a perfectly clear, amber-brown body. The head settles at a moderate pace and leaves decent lace.

S - A floral, lightly fruity hop aroma with some caramel and toffee malt in the background.

T - Toffee and brown bread up front with some spicy hops in the middle. Finishes with caramel, light roast, and floral hops as well as moderate bitterness.

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation, and a balanced finish.

D - Not bad, but the hop profile is very old fashioned, with floral notes that don't really stack up against the pine and tropical fruit that most west coast brewers are using in their hoppy red beers today. Drinkable, but forgettable.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.33/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a flared pokal at Bliss.

Felt it was time for some nectar. Yeah. This color pours a clear sunrise amber topped by a finger of off-white foam. The nose comprises pine, grapefruit, toffee, orange peel, and a tiny touch of leek. The taste holds notes of orange peel, sweet toffee, and light pine sap. The body straddles the line between heavy light and light medium (otherwise known as discord and rhyme), with a very light moderate carbonation and a dry-ish finish. Overall, an okay brew, nothing close to spectacular, but drinkable enough to get by on its own in the big city.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.93/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A crystal-clear, deep-copper body is capped by a short but creamy off-white head that holds fairly well and leaves some nice, but sparse, rings of lace. The aroma offers a delicate blend of caramel malt and lightly floral, citrusy, and grassy hops. The body is medium and it's lightly crisp on the tongue with a fine, median-level carbonation. In the flavor a well-balanced combination of fresh caramelish malt; yeasty fruitiness (strawberry, apple); and floral/citrusy/grassy hops are backed by a firm, and almost bold, balancing bitterness. The hop flavor appears more distinct in the finish which is long and lingering with some residual malt and dry bitterness. A solid, drinkable beer!

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Photo of jlindros
3.82/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a bubbly 1+ finger head that fades semi slowly but lots of big bubbles in it filling it out but very few bubbles rising from the bottom etch in the SA perfect pint glass, and some sticky lacing, over clear cranberry peach tea colored... beer?

Nose has some light aromatic and fresh fruity hops, light musty resin and citrus, the faintest hint of toasty malts.

Taste brings toasty malts to start, amber reddish malts, then some light aromatic hops, semi bitter, some very light musty resin and citrus, light sweet toasty malts round it off again. The finish gets just slightly astringent, semi bitter with some nice hop flavors lingering and drier finish.

Mouth is medium bodied with lower carbonation.

Overall not bad, some nice flavors, lighter, decent hops, decent malts, nothing crazy, a bit low on the carbonation and the color is just way out there.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.33/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap 5/15/2011 at Doherty’s East Ave Irish Pub in Pawtucket, RI, served in a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep ruby red color, with a medium dense off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains caramelized malts, floral hops and some citrus.

T: The taste starts with a decent hops burst and then sweet flavors of citrus and caramel come in. The malt character is hearty but not too heavy and creates a good balance. The after-taste is slightly hoppy and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Very tasty, goes down very easily, not too filling, mild kick, good representation of style, this is a really good beer to pound down for a whole evening.

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Photo of Slatetank
3.23/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Pours a clear deep garnet with a sizeable head that leaves generous lacing.

S - The aroma is a goodly amount of malt that has roasted scents with a nose of subtle woodsy hops.

M - Creamy malt textures are the main elements with bitter qualities that gradually eclipse the sweet dry feel alongside liberal effervescence.

T - Toasted notes of dry malt -almost rye-like. Sweet, but ever so slightly creamy. Substantially bitter with tasty, woody hops and fruity floral hints intermingling with at malty sweetness that is matched oz. for oz. with bittering that is slight on the dry side. A slightly medicinial effect is apparent after short swallows that adds to the dryness in the mouth.

D - A roasty red ale that is not undrinkable with pleasant hops and a spicy peppery essence. Not my favorite style but a decently made ale.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.85/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I had this at Beachwood BBQ, where it was labelled "Humboldt Red Nectar Ale". Humboldt's page suggests it's now brewed at Firestone Walker, but Firestone Walker owns Nectar Ales. It's a confusing contract brew/ownership of brand situation, but I believe I've found the right listing. Served on-draught into a 5 oz taster. Reviewed from notes.

A: Pours a one finger head of nice white cream, good thickness, and great retention. Colour is a dark copper-gold.

Sm: Dry toasted malt and cream. Simple and mild, but appealing.

T: Toasted malt, cream, and some amber hops. Some caramel. Simple, but decently balanced. Hops - mainly bittering - are present but mild, supplementing the balance. Decently built but unremarkable. Not unique or special.

Mf: Smooth and a touch dry - especially on the climax. Complements the flavour profile to a moderate extent. Not tailored to it, but suitable.

Dr: Drinkable but unremarkable. Boring for the style. I wouldn't have it again (knowingly). Pairs decently with barbecue.


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Photo of russpowell
3.8/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Remember having this on draft about 15 years ago in San Fransisco & loving it...

Pours copper with 3 fingers of tan head. Above average head retention & lacing

S: Orange peel & pine

T: Follows the nose, nice caramel notes & tangerine. Woody hop notes, dryness & a touch of biscuitty malt as this warms, along with a touch of astrigency. Finishes with piney hops & malt sweetness

MF: Medium bodied, assertive carbonation, decent balance

A drinkable red that doesn't quite live up to old memories, but a sessionable offering to be sure

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.9/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Firestone Walker bought the rights to the brand now their brewing in Paso Robles, I was drinking the stuff out of Humboldt County ten years ago, this is still a great introduction ale. I guess it won a 2010 GABF gold medal who knew? Back in Ohio after quite a long departure from the state's distribution I hope Cavalier starts getting some FSWB stuff I'd be amped about even a variety pack of their regular stuff. Appears a dark ruby amber body with light beige head forming thick and dwindling at an appreciable rate, fine speckled lacing coats the sides of my chalice. Aroma pleasant fruitiness sliced red apples and hints citrus greet my nares, with an underlying rock solid malt and hop combo going on. Flavors are dry upfront with a refined caramel breadiness with backend hops that bring earthiness, pine, and mild citrus peel abroad to the forefront of the flavor explosion quite a nice mix of bread, hops, and yeast. Mouthfeel is so dead on hits the palate upfront without overt sweetness and takes the palate on a ride of complexity balanced carbonation, and hop oils all take a ride of glory on the palate nothing bad to say here. Overall I'm missing beers like this that have great flavor complexity that got me into craft beers, that are so good yet often overlooked much appreciated red ale from the folks out around SLO and Santa Barbara brewing world class ales abound.

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Photo of smcolw
4.04/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The only demerit would be the head which forms modestly and settles into fine rim bubbles. Minimal spots on the glass. The liquid is a dark amber/light brown color where light does pass easily. It also appears to be clear.

Good malt base on the nose and the hop is mildly spicy with white pepper and a touch of grapefruit. Appealing and balanced.

The taste is well balanced: nice malt up front that lasts until the swallow where the peppery hop takes over. Low carbonation that matches the appearance and the liquor is decently rich. Overall, this is a very easy-to-drink amber with an interesting journey through the flavor profile in each sip.

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Photo of superspak
3.68/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, bottled on 6/12/2013. Pours slightly cloudy orange copper color with a 1 finger dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of caramel, toast, toffee, grapefruit, orange zest, brown sugar, biscuit, floral, grass, light nuttiness, and toasted earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance of malt and hop notes; with solid strength. Taste of caramel, toast, toffee, biscuit, grapefruit, orange zest, brown sugar, floral, grass, light pine, light nuttiness, and floral/toasted earthiness. Light pine bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, toast, toffee, brown sugar, citrus, biscuit, floral, and light nuttiness on the finish for a good bit. Nice balance and robustness of malt and hop flavors; with a very balanced hop/malt flavor profile and no cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body with a lightly creamy and smooth mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is a nice amber ale. Good balance and robustness of malt and hop flavors; and very smooth to drink. A nicely enjoyable offering.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.65/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: bright, dark ruby color, a lovely jewel, aided by an enormous head, off-whitish shade, nearly cocoa, honeycombed with lace.
Aroma: fresh, yeasty, citric, slightly sour, tasty, too.
Taste: smooth-going at first sip, untroubled, and tasty. Minor-key fruit factor. Adequate malt, excellent balance. Delicious, but mild enough, too, to enter the session ale field. Every sip and swallow is it's own reward, flavor returns and is enjoyed again and again.
Much thanks to el mocoso!

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Photo of mdfb79
3.58/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap tonight at ChurchKey in DC.

a - Pours a red amber color with one inch of white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of caramel malts, citrus hops, light fruity malts.

t - Taste is again, caramel malts and fruity malts. Light orange/citrus.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation.

o - Overall a good amber ale, but nothing too special. Worth trying, but not something I would seek out again, and nothing really stood out about it.

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Red Nectar from Humboldt Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 257 ratings.